I've always loved a good storm. There is a certain electricity in the air, lots of excitement around town and usually news reporters since we live out on the "elbow" of Cape Cod. Recent storms like Harvey and Irma were not "good storms". The flooding, death and destruction was tragic. A good Cape Cod storm is a strong Nor'Easter which is what "they" are predicting Hurricane Jose to be. No one is boarding up shops or houses, there is not a run on water, but people have moved or REmoved boats. I went out this afternoon to take some pre-storm photos. The problem with a strong storm around this time of the year is that a lot of leaves fall off the trees and the salt water flying through the air causes a lot of fall flowers to die. Here's a little taste of pre-Jose.....
This girl has always done things her way. They may not always be the easiest way or the conventional way, but she perseveres and gets what she wants. Tomorrow she starts college in California, 2 years after she graduated high school. She took her time, followed her heart and will be a full time working college student. I wish I was there to buy you your first day of school outfit and your new backpack, K, like I was all those other years. I think you will make new friends, learn lots of new things and grow in unimaginable ways. I am so very proud of you.
Mother's Day has given my some time to think about moms. I love being a mom. Seriously, I could not even think of a better job to do. Not even having to taste test M&M's or chocolate chip ice-cream all day would be a better job. I simply just love being a mom. So, I have been wondering how a person such as myself who did not like babysitting and was not really "comfortable" around little kids when I was younger turned into a person who loves being a mom. I would say it has to do with the people that came before me.
Now, before I start, do not get me wrong. Everybody has flaws and no one's life is perfect. I am taking the best of each "mom" here and how they influenced me for the best.
My mom's mom, also known as Nanny or Bernice was part of my life until my mid twenties. I do not often remember her smiling, but I do remember little things that make me think she cared about us a lot. She and my grandfather had a house on Lake Winnepesauke in NH. She always made sure that there was a little present on our beds when we arrived. For me it was usually a bag of M&Ms and a Trixie Beldon or Nancy Drew book. Sometimes it was comic books. For lunch she would make us Peanut Butter and Fluff sandwiches, with chips and Mountain Dew. She always baked congo bars or chocolate cake before we came, too. One time when I was sick at her house, she made a pulley system from my bed to the door with a cup on it. She would put m&ms in it and I would pull it over to the bed.
My dad's mom, also known as Grandma or Eleanor, was also around until my mid twenties. Where my Nanny lacked in emotion, my Grandma made up for it. She was always smiling. She would take us bowling and then we would take her on a mystery ride on the way home. How she knew how to find our house without GPS is a miracle because we would take her all over town. She loved Maine as much as me. We could sit on the beach for hours playing games, body surfing or tanning. One time when I was in college and she and I were at our house in Maine before the rest of my family came for the summer, we had a bad thunder and lightening storm in the middle of the night. I was petrified and sat on a stool in the middle of the family room ready to run when the nearest tree came down. She somehow knew I was sitting there and came out to reassure me and help me see the beauty in the storm.
My mom is the mom everyone wanted growing up. She was at all of our games, recitals etc. She was the mom to go to for chocolate chip cookies. She volunteered in the school, She was happy to have our friends to our house. She was and is always good for a hug and an 'I told you so'. She did not give us everything we wanted growing up, but helped us with solutions for how to get it. We spent every summer in Ogunquit, Maine with her while my dad came up on weekends. We all spent every winter weekend at Waterville Valley ski racing. She did not like to ski, but liked being there to warm our toes and give us a good lunch before sending us back out for afternoon training. She still is our biggest cheerleader and is now her grandchildrens' biggest cheerleader. She also has a great sense of a humor and a laugh that K can imitate to a tee. She has certainly taught me how to find the humor in every situation, good or bad.
I often feel badly that I cannot give my girls everything that they want, that I cannot do more for them. I feel badly that we cannot go on great vacations or that I cannot buy them all that they want or deserve. However, looking back on my memories of my role models, I see that that is not necessarily what's most important. Don't get me wrong, money helps, but in this case it is certainly not everything. I did not write about the expensive things that each bought me, I did not write about jetting off across the world with them, I did not write about them buying me a brand new Mercedes when I turned 16, mostly because those things did not happen. The things that immediately came to my memory was the compassion, the love, the hugs and the caring. The just being available and making me believe that I was important and cherished was what counted. I only hope that one day, my girls can see that this empathy, love, caring is the one gift I can give them that does not cost a thing, but is the most sincere. So, I will end with a big thank-you to my role models and an even bigger thank-you to B and K for giving me the opportunity to have the best job in the whole world.
But in reality, you are a beautiful young lady making it on your own. Oh, I know that you have ideas and plans and things that you think you should be doing right now. However, take a look through my eyes. You have taken up residency 3000 miles away from home. You get yourself to work every day, you pay your bills, you grocery shop for yourself, you go to the beach whenever you can and you pay your rent. Extremely impressive. I know you don't see it that way because you get tangled up in "shoulds". Should haves, could haves and would haves can trip you up. Believe me, it has taken me many years to figure that one out.
So, as you embark on your 20s, have some goals in mind, but don't forget to sit back and smell the ocean,
remember how many people love you for you,
and that no matter what coast your are on, your mom is still your number 1 fan.
There are an abundance of right whales off the coast of Cape Cod right now. I heard that of the 500 or so in the world, about 1/2 of them are around Provincetown. For whatever reason, there is more than the usual amounts of krill and other little things that the whales like to eat. Being school vacation week, I had the opportunity to go to Ptown 3 times this week. I had my sister's huge telephoto lens. I was ready to get the details of the whales as they leapt out of the water. I already saw my whale picture on the cover of National Geographic. I was prepared!
This is what I got:
Now I am sure that will not suffice for the National Geographic cover or really your viewing pleasure. The water was Caribbean blue today, so I took some second place pictures while I was waiting for my whale to surface.
The seagull cooperated.
Herring Cove parking lot is about half the size after the past 2 winters.
Also Herring Cove.
I love taking pics of laundry lines. Why? I do not know, but always have.
Look at the color of that water! If only it was warmer out....
Anyone want to go on a whale watch with me? I'll bring the camera and the Dramamine.
18 years ago today, I was laying in a hospital bed with my second daughter. When I realized that I was pregnant with her, I wondered how I would love another human being as much as my first born. Little did I realize that it was easy. Your heart grows and you love the second one just as much as the first one. I am sure if I was blessed with more children, it would be the same: my heart would just keep growing. I have read what I have written about you, B, for the past 8 years and nothing much has changed. You still get my sense of humor and have actually adopted it for yourself. You are still a leader (hmm, captain of 2 swim teams). You still sing any chance you get (yes, I listen when you don't think I am. Pleasedon'tstop). You are still compassionate and kind and I love hanging with you and your friends. So B, all I have to offer is advice for your future. You have college to look forward to and whether or not your shoulders give up on you, you will still make wonderful memories. People gravitate toward you because you are fun to be around. You are polite, smart and caring. You sing like an angel and I hope you will always treasure that gift. And it is a gift; one that I was not blessed with, but appreciate so very much. So, whether you decide to teach Kindergarteners, walk on the moon or be a neuroscientist, I hope you will sing your way through every day. Know that I love you very much. You'll be surprised to know I have tears right now (haha). Know that I love every adventure and car ride we go on. And please know that I would give you the world if I could. The great thing is, whatever I cannot give you, I know that you will go out and get yourself. Happy Birthday Cookie Love, Mama